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George Bazinet, Jr v. Michael J. Astrue

February 17, 2012

GEORGE BAZINET, JR., PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, DEFENDANT.



OPINION AND ORDER

This matter is before the Court on consideration of Magistrate Judge Sheri Polster Chappell's Report and Recommendation (Doc. #21), filed on January 25, 2012, recommending that the Commissioner's decision to deny social security disability benefits be affirmed. Plaintiff filed Objections (Doc. #22) on February 7, 2012, to which the government filed a Response (Doc. #23) on February 9, 2012.

The Court reviews the Commissioner's decision to determine if it is supported by substantial evidence and based upon proper legal standards. Crawford v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 363 F.3d 1155, 1158 (11th Cir. 2004). Substantial evidence is more than a scintilla but less than a preponderance, and is such relevant evidence as a reasonable person would accept as adequate to support a conclusion. Moore v. Barnhart, 405 F.3d 1208, 1211 (11th Cir. 2005); Crawford, 363 F.3d at 1158. Even if the evidence preponderates against the Commissioner's findings, the Court must affirm if the decision reached is supported by substantial evidence. Crawford, 363 F.3d at 1158-59. The Court does not decide facts anew, make credibility judgments, reweigh the evidence, or substitute its judgment for that of the Commissioner. Moore, 405 F.3d at 1211; Dyer v. Barnhart, 395 F.3d 1206, 1210 (11th Cir. 2005). The magistrate judge, district judge and appellate judges all apply the same legal standards to the review of the Commissioner's decision. Dyer, 395 F.3d at 1210; Shinn v. Comm'r of Soc. Sec., 391 F.3d 1276, 1282 (11th Cir. 2004); Phillips v. Barnhart, 357 F.3d 1232, 1240 n.8 (11th Cir. 2004).

The Objections assert that the ALJ erred in the following ways: (1) Failing to consider treating physician Dr. Manuel Gallego's opinion and specifically articulate reasons for rejecting it; (2) Failing to consider and specify the weight given to treating physician Dr. James Villotti's opinion that plaintiff was disabled in light of his notation that things were worse for plaintiff since the last visit; and (3) Failing to consider the evidence from a licensed mental health counselor and other evidence indicating plaintiff's obesity had a significant effect on his ability to work. The Objections also assert that the magistrate judge erred to the extent these arguments were rejected. After an independent review of the record, the Court agrees with the findings and recommendations in the Report and Recommendation.

Accordingly, it is now ORDERED:

1. The Report and Recommendation (Doc. #21) is accepted and adopted by the Court.

2. The Decision of the Commissioner of Social Security is AFFIRMED.

3. The Clerk of the Court shall enter judgment accordingly and close the file.

Copies:

Hon. Sheri Polster Chappell U.S. Magistrate Judge

Counsel of Record

20120217

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