Stuckey v. Sullivan, No. 88-2954

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtBefore CUMMINGS, WOOD, Jr., and RIPPLE; HARLINGTON WOOD, Jr.
Citation881 F.2d 506
Parties, Unempl.Ins.Rep. CCH 14841A James STUCKEY, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Louis W. SULLIVAN, M.D., * Secretary of Health and Human Services, Defendant-Appellee.
Docket NumberNo. 88-2954
Decision Date09 August 1989

Page 506

881 F.2d 506
26 Soc.Sec.Rep.Ser. 509, Unempl.Ins.Rep. CCH 14841A
James STUCKEY, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Louis W. SULLIVAN, M.D., * Secretary of Health
and Human Services, Defendant-Appellee.
No. 88-2954.
United States Court of Appeals,
Seventh Circuit.
Argued June 5, 1989.
Decided Aug. 9, 1989.

Daniel Galatzer, Chicago, Ill., for plaintiff-appellant.

Barbara M. King, Dept. of Health and Human Services, Eileen M. Marutzky, Asst. U.S. Atty., Chicago, Ill., for defendant-appellee.

Before CUMMINGS, WOOD, Jr., and RIPPLE, Circuit Judges.

Page 507

HARLINGTON WOOD, Jr., Circuit Judge.

Plaintiff-appellant James D. Stuckey ("Stuckey") appeals from the district court's entry of summary judgment in favor of the Secretary of Health and Human Services ("Secretary"). The district court upheld the Secretary's decision that Stuckey was ineligible for disability insurance benefits under Title II of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. Secs. 416(i), 423 ("Act"), finding that the Secretary's determination that Stuckey was not disabled within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1382(a)(3)(A) was supported by substantial evidence. Stuckey challenges that finding in this appeal. The district court had jurisdiction over this case pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Sec. 405(g). We review this decision under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1291 and 42 U.S.C. Sec. 405(g).

I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND

Stuckey was born on August 8, 1944. He received an eighth-grade education and last worked in a warehouse, where he drove a forklift and did some heavy lifting. Stuckey claims that he has been disabled since March 28, 1984 and that he is unable to return to his warehouse job. Stuckey applied for disability benefits, asserting disabilities stemming from a number of impairments including asthma, cirrhosis of the liver, bad kidneys, hearing loss, heart trouble, knee pains, and high blood pressure. Stuckey's application for disability benefits was denied by the Social Security Administration and he asked for a hearing on that denial.

At his administrative hearing in April 1987, Stuckey elaborated on these claimed disabilities. He claimed that he could walk four blocks, sit from one to two hours, and stand for up to thirty minutes, but he stated that he was unable to climb stairs. Stuckey used asthma spray four to five times a day and visited the hospital emergency room for an asthma attack a few days prior to the administrative hearing. Stuckey claimed that perfumes, smoke, temperature changes, and even the heat from a kitchen stove caused him to start coughing.

Dr. Casey, the medical advisor, also testified at the administrative hearing. Dr. Casey stated that Stuckey's infirmities did not meet the requirements laid down in the Listing of Impairments, 20 C.F.R. Part 404, Subpart P, Appendix 1. Specifically, Dr. Casey testified that Stuckey did not meet the pulmonary listings. Dr. Casey also indicated that with respect to Stuckey's claimed knee pains, he could find no abnormality to explain the pain and he stated that Stuckey had tested normally on the treadmill test, discounting Stuckey's claim of chest pains. Dr. Casey also was of the opinion that Stuckey did not meet the severity requirements of the asthma listing. A vocational expert, Meyer Klein, testified that while Stuckey was unable to return to his former job, he could find substantial gainful employment in other positions connected with the warehouse, such as a supply clerk or order filler, that would not involve contact with dust, fumes, and gases.

The ALJ determined that Stuckey did not meet the requirements under the Listing of Impairments for pulmonary disability due to the absence of a pulmonary function study test. According to the ALJ, there was no support for most of Stuckey's medical assertions. Physical examinations showed a full range of motion and a normal gait, leading the ALJ to conclude that Stuckey would still be able to walk and stand from six to eight hours a day, use his hands extensively, and lift up to twenty pounds. The ALJ also found that Stuckey could still perform light work. Although his choice of employment would be constrained by the need to avoid excessive dust and fumes, the ALJ considered Stuckey's work experience, education, and functional capacity in determining that Stuckey was not disabled.

The Social Security Appeals Council refused to review the ALJ's decision, making that decision the final decision of the Secretary. Stuckey then filed this action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Both parties filed motions for summary judgment in district court. The court denied Stuckey's motion

Page 508

and granted the Secretary's motion on September 27, 1988; this appeal followed.

II. DISCUSSION

Under the Social Security Act, claimants are entitled to disability insurance benefits if they are under age 65, file an application, are disabled, and are insured. 42 U.S.C. Sec. 423(a). The Act defines "disabled" as the "inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment which can be expected to result in death or which has lasted or can be expected to last for a continuous period of not less than 12 months." 42 U.S.C. Sec. 423(d)(1)(A). A person will be found to be disabled

only if his physical or mental impairment or impairments are of such severity that he is not only unable to do his previous work but cannot, considering his age, education, and work...

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83 practice notes
  • Lopez v. SECRETARY, DHHS, Civ. No. H88-659.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Indiana
    • June 10, 1992
    ...new evidence except for the purpose of determining whether remand is appropriate, and may not reweigh the evidence. Stuckey v. Sullivan, 881 F.2d 506, 508 (7th Cir.1989); Alameda v. Sec'y of Health, Educ. & Welfare, 622 F.2d 1044, 1047 (1st Cir.1980). Moreover, a district court does not mak......
  • Tsoutsouris v. Shalala, No. 2:94-CV-208-RL-2.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Indiana
    • June 11, 1997
    ...weight to the carrier's determination of the specificity of documentation rather than Dr. Freeman's is appropriate. Stuckey v. Sullivan, 881 F.2d 506, 509 (7th Cir.1989)(stating that the ALJ has the authority to assess medical Page 906 and give greater weight to that which he finds more cre......
  • Jared H. v. Kijakazi, 21 C 4587
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • September 21, 2022
    ...2010)(affirming ALJ's decision noting that “[d]isability requires more than mere inability to work without pain.”); Stuckey v. Sullivan, 881 F.2d 506, 509 (7th Cir. 1989)(“Even if [plaintiff] did experience some discomfort, this alone does not establish disability.”); Brown v. Bowen, 801 F.......
  • Cummings v. Sullivan, No. 90-2310
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • December 10, 1991
    ...and that substantial evidence supported the ruling. See Kapusta v. Sullivan, 900 F.2d 94, 96 (7th Cir.1989); Stuckey v. Sullivan, 881 F.2d 506, 509-10 (7th Cir.1989). However, that is not the issue before this 10 On appeal Cummings recommended that this court revise the district court's bas......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
83 cases
  • Lopez v. SECRETARY, DHHS, Civ. No. H88-659.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Indiana
    • June 10, 1992
    ...new evidence except for the purpose of determining whether remand is appropriate, and may not reweigh the evidence. Stuckey v. Sullivan, 881 F.2d 506, 508 (7th Cir.1989); Alameda v. Sec'y of Health, Educ. & Welfare, 622 F.2d 1044, 1047 (1st Cir.1980). Moreover, a district court does not mak......
  • Tsoutsouris v. Shalala, No. 2:94-CV-208-RL-2.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Indiana
    • June 11, 1997
    ...weight to the carrier's determination of the specificity of documentation rather than Dr. Freeman's is appropriate. Stuckey v. Sullivan, 881 F.2d 506, 509 (7th Cir.1989)(stating that the ALJ has the authority to assess medical Page 906 and give greater weight to that which he finds more cre......
  • Jared H. v. Kijakazi, 21 C 4587
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 7th Circuit. United States District Court (Northern District of Illinois)
    • September 21, 2022
    ...2010)(affirming ALJ's decision noting that “[d]isability requires more than mere inability to work without pain.”); Stuckey v. Sullivan, 881 F.2d 506, 509 (7th Cir. 1989)(“Even if [plaintiff] did experience some discomfort, this alone does not establish disability.”); Brown v. Bowen, 801 F.......
  • Cummings v. Sullivan, No. 90-2310
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • December 10, 1991
    ...and that substantial evidence supported the ruling. See Kapusta v. Sullivan, 900 F.2d 94, 96 (7th Cir.1989); Stuckey v. Sullivan, 881 F.2d 506, 509-10 (7th Cir.1989). However, that is not the issue before this 10 On appeal Cummings recommended that this court revise the district court's bas......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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