Gardner v. Bishop, 8390.

Decision Date01 July 1966
Docket NumberNo. 8390.,8390.
Citation362 F.2d 917
PartiesJohn W. GARDNER, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, Appellant, v. Butler O. BISHOP, Appellee.
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Tenth Circuit

Harvey L. Zuckman, Atty., Dept. of Justice (John W. Douglas, Asst. Atty. Gen., Bruce Green, U. S. Atty., and Kathryn H. Baldwin, Atty., Dept. of Justice, on the brief), for appellant.

David K. Petty, McAlester, Okl., for appellee.

Before BREITENSTEIN, HILL and SETH, Circuit Judges.

HILL, Circuit Judge.

This action was commenced in the court below by appellee, Bishop, under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), to review the decision of the appellant, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, denying disability insurance benefits under 42 U.S.C. §§ 416(i) and 423(a). The Secretary filed an answer to the complaint and thereafter filed a motion for summary judgment, based upon the pleadings and the transcript of the record of the administrative proceedings. The trial court, in a summary fashion, denied the motion for summary judgment and reversed the decision of the Secretary without giving any reason or basis for such action. The Secretary has appealed from that order.

At the outset, we should comment that, although there is no rule or statute requiring a federal district judge to express his reasons for a decision in this type of case, it is certainly a better judicial practice for him to do so. This is of particular importance in cases where the trial judge reverses the decision of the Secretary, as was done here because we have no other means of knowing the legal basis of the court's decision in such cases.

There are certain well established legal principles applicable to cases arising from the Social Security Act. First, we must recognize that the Congress has delegated to the Secretary the duty of administering the Act and the making of factual determinations and conclusions within the guidelines set out in the statute. The findings of fact of the Secretary and the inferences drawn therefrom are not to be disturbed by a reviewing court if there is substantial evidence to support them.1 Substantial evidence has been defined as "such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion."2 The Supreme Court has also said "* * * it must be enough to justify, if the trial were to a jury, a refusal to direct a verdict when the conclusion sought to be drawn from it is one of fact for the jury."3

At the hearing before the examiner the claimant testified he was 60 years of age, had a sixth grade education and had worked from the time he was 15 years old until he became disabled; he had never learned a skill or trade and his last employment was in an aircraft plant in California as an inspector; his employment there was terminated in 1960, because of a reduction in the work force and had not sought work since because he did not feel able to work; during 1960 he applied for and received unemployment compensation for a short period of time; and that his lungs were impaired, he had a bowel condition, bronchial difficulty, chronic sinusitis and had pain in his right groin, rectum and chest. At this hearing the medical evidence consisted of reports from five individual doctors and the staff of the University of Oklahoma Medical Center together with the oral testimony of Dr. Louis N. Dakil. The examiner found that the medical reports put into the record revealed thorough medical examinations of the claimant and outweighed the oral testimony of Dr. Dakil. From these reports the examiner denied claimant's application and found that claimant did not have physical impairments of such severity so as to prevent him from engaging in any substantial gainful activity, or even returning to the type of work in which he had been engaged prior to his alleged disability. Claimant's request for review was denied by the Appeals Council and the decision of the hearing examiner became the final decision of the Secretary.

Admittedly, the medical report and the oral testimony of Dr. Dakil appearing in the record, standing alone, makes a strong case for the claimant. The report diagnosed appellee's physical impairments as tuberculosis, emphysema, hypertension, diverticulitis, chronic nephritis and hypertrophical prostate. The report also classified appellee as totally disabled for any type of labor and recommended that he avoid exertion and dampness and that he get rest and maintain a proper diet. The doctor's oral testimony...

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44 cases
  • Gardner v. Brian, 8342.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Tenth Circuit
    • November 29, 1966
    ...inferences drawn therefrom are not to be disturbed by a reviewing court if there is substantial evidence to support them." Gardner v. Bishop, 10 Cir., 362 F.2d 917; see also Johnson v. Gardner, 10 Cir., 368 F.2d 909; Celebrezze v. Warren, 10 Cir., 339 F.2d 833, construing 42 U.S.C. § 405(g)......
  • Carrasco v. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, 79-1148
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — First Circuit
    • June 11, 1980
    ...the responsibility of the Secretary. See 42 U.S.C. § 405; Gonzalez v. Richardson, 455 F.2d 953, 954 (1st Cir. 1972); Gardner v. Bishop, 362 F.2d 917, 919 (10th Cir. 1966). We agree. Considering the insufficient facts before us and the important policy questions inherent both in determining ......
  • Reyes v. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, 71-1895.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit
    • February 23, 1973
    ...are unsupported." Einbinder v. Novinger, Inc., 115 U.S.App.D.C. 395 at n. 3, 320 F.2d 714 at n. 3 (1963). See also, Gardner v. Bishop, 362 F.2d 917 (10th Cir. 1966); Banks v. Celebrezze, 341 F.2d 801 (6th Cir. 1965). In Celebrezze v. Zimmerman, 339 F.2d 496 (5th Cir. 1964), involving an app......
  • Branch v. Finch
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — District of Kansas
    • April 22, 1970
    ...246 F.Supp. 701 (D.Kan. 1965); and Shonk v. Gardner (Templar, J., No. T-4354, unreported). The Court pointed out in Gardner v. Bishop, 362 F.2d 917, 919 (10th Cir. 1966), that findings of fact by the Secretary and the inferences drawn from such findings should not be disturbed by a reviewin......
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