United States District Court, M.D. Tennessee, Nashville Division
A. WISEMAN, JR. SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Plaintiff Cindy Raylene Folnsbee's
Motion for Judgment on the Administrative Record
("Motion") (Doc. No. 19), filed with a Memorandum
in Support (Doc. No. 19-1). Defendant Commissioner of Social
Security ("Commissioner") filed a Response in
Opposition to Plaintiffs Motion (Doc. No. 20.), to which
Plaintiff replied (Doc. No. 25.) On January 12, 2017, this
case was referred to Magistrate Judge Frensley. (Doc. No.
27.) The Court hereby withdraws that referral. In addition,
upon consideration of the parties' filings and the
transcript of the administrative record (Doc. No. 15),
for the reasons stated herein, Plaintiffs Motion (Doc. No.
19) will be hereby DENIED.
filed an application for Disability Insurance Benefits
("DIB") under Title II of the Social Security Act
on February 22, 2010, alleging a disability onset of December
15, 2005, which was later amended to December 30, 2009. (Tr.
36.) Folnsbee's claim was denied at the initial and
reconsideration stages of state agency review. Folnsbee
subsequently requested de novo review of his case by
an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ"). The ALJ heard
the case on August 20, 2012, when Folnsbee appeared with
counsel and gave testimony. (Tr. 48-70.) Testimony was also
received from an impartial vocational expert. At the
conclusion of the hearing, the matter was taken under
advisement until August 24, 2012, when the ALJ issued a
written decision finding Folnsbee not disabled. (Tr. 36-43.)
That decision contains the following enumerated findings:
1. The claimant last met the insured status requirements of
the Social Security Act through December 31, 2011.
2. The claimant did not engage in substantial gainful
activity during the period from her alleged onset date of
December 30, 2009 through her date last insured of December
31, 2010 (20 C.F.R. 404.1571 et seq.).
3. Through the date last insured, the claimant had the
following severe impairments: is chemic heart disease and
obesity (20 C.F.R. 404.1520(c)).
4. Through the date last insured, the claimant did not have
an impairment or combination of impairments that met or
medically equaled the severity of one of the listed
impairments in 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1 (20
C.F.R. 404.1520(d), 404.1525, 404.1526).
5. After careful consideration of the entire record, ...
through the date last insured, the claimant had the residual
functional capacity to perform light work as defined in 20
C.F.R. 404.1567(b) except the claimant could lift and/or
carry 20 pounds occasionally and 10 pounds frequently; stand
and/or walk 6 hours out of 8 hours; sit 6 hours out of 8
hours; frequently climb ramp/stairs, balance, stoop, kneel,
crouch, and crawl; occasionally climb ladder/ropes/scaffolds;
and avoid concentrated exposure to temperature extremes,
vibration, and respiratory irritants.
6. Through the date last insured, the claimant was capable of
performing past relevant work as a bowling alley manager.
This work did not require the performance of work-related
activities precluded by the claimant's residual
functional capacity (20 C.F.R. 404.1565).
7. The claimant was not under a "disability" as
defined in the Social Security Act at any time from December
30, 2009, the alleged onset date, through December 31, 2010,
the date last insured (20 C.F.R. 404.1520(f)).
(Tr. 38-39, 42.)
October 31, 2013, the Appeals Council denied Folnsbee's
request for review of the ALJ's decision (Tr. 1), thereby
rendering that decision the final decision of the SSA. This
civil action was thereafter timely filed, and the Court has
jurisdiction. 42 U.S.C. § 405(g).
Review of the Record
following summary of the medical record is taken from the
The claimant has a history of hypertension, hyperlipidemia,
and coronary artery disease. She was admitted to the hospital
on December 30, 2009, with unstable angina. Nuclear perfusion
study showed fixed inferior wall defect and no ischemia with
left ventricular ejection fraction of 36 percent.
Echocardiogram showed normal chamber sizes and inferior
infarct. Cardiac catheterization revealed 30 to 40 percent
mid-lower anterior descending. She underwent percutaneous
coronary intervention (PCI) with two over-lapping bare-metal
stents placed in the right coronary artery. Left ventricular
ejection fraction improved to 55 percent. She was discharged
home on January 1, 2010 with prescriptions for Simvastatin,
aspirin, Clopidogrel, Lisinopril, Metoprolol, and
Nitroglycerin. Smoking cessation was strongly encouraged.
On February 2, 2020, she reported feeling better with no
chest pain, dyspnea, orthopnea, paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea
(PND), palpitations, edema, lightheadedness, or syncope. She
denied generalized fatigue and malaise. She stated she
continued to smoke one pack of cigarettes per day.
Examination showed no obvious joint deformities and no
apparent focal motor or sensory deficits. Lisinopril dosage
was increased. Exhibits 2F and 9F.
On August 3, 2010, the claimant complained of daily heart
palpitations over the last week. She stated these tended to
be stress-related and lasted from one minute to less than one
hour. A Holter monitor study was ordered. Simvastatin and
Lisinopril dosage was increased. Smoking cessation was again
encouraged. On October 5, 2010, the claimant reported her
palpitations had improved and her Holter monitor showed rare
VPCs and APCs. She had dyspnea when walking up stairs but no
chest pain, orthopnea, paroxysmal nocturnal dyspnea (PND),
lower extremity edema, lightheadedness, or syncope. She
stated she had been out of Lisinopril for about two weeks.
Her blood pressure was uncontrolled and Lisinopril was
restarted. She was instructed to keep a blood pressure log
and quit smoking. Her blood pressure was noted to be under
better control on December 7, 2010. She stated she had been
feeling relatively well and her blood pressure log showed
gradual improvement. She stated she cut back on smoking;
however, smoking cessation was strongly encouraged. She
reported some dyspnea when she really exerted herself but
reported no chest pain. Medications were renewed. Exhibit 9F.
Albert Gomez, M.D., performed a consultative physical
examination for the Social Security Administration on July
28, 2010. The claimant complained of chronic chest pain
following a myocardial infarction in January 2010. Her chest
pain was substernal, pressure type, without radiation,
occurring about once a day and lasting for about 15 minutes.
Her symptoms were increased with exertion and were decreased
with rest. She denied nausea or vomiting associated with her
chest pain. She reported smoking one pack of cigarettes per
day with a 3 5-year history of smoking. She had a normal gait
and was able to get on and off the examination table without
difficulty. Blood pressure was 210/120. She was 63 inches
tall and 187 pounds. Heart rate was regularly without any
murmurs or rubs. There was moderate tenderness to palpation
of the cervical spine with normal flexion, extension to 50
degrees, right and left lateral flexion to 35 degrees, and
right and left rotation to 70 degrees. Extremities showed no
cyanosis of clonus. There was 1 pedal edema bilaterally. The
pedal pulses were normal. There was a full range of motion in
her shoulders, elbows, and wrists. Fine finger movements,
fist making, and pinch grip were normal. Handgrip was good
bilaterally. Her hips had full range of motion except for
flexion to 110 degrees. Her left hip had moderate tenderness
to palpation. There was full range o motion in her knees and
ankles with moderate tenderness to palpation in her left
knee. Motor strength was 4/5 in her upper and lower
extremities. Deep tendon reflexes ...