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COONEY v. FINCH

June 23, 1969

George W. COONEY, Plaintiff,
v.
Robert H. FINCH, Secretary, Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: WEBER

 WEBER, District Judge.

 This action was brought by plaintiff pursuant to § 205(g) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 405(g) to review a final decision of the Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare denying plaintiff's claim for a period of disability and disability benefits under §§ 216(i) and 223 of the Act. 42 U.S.C. §§ 416(i) and 423. The defendant has now moved for summary judgment.

 The factual situation presented by the instant case is unusual in that the majority of the Social Security disability cases before this court deal with the physical impairments of miners or heavy laborers with little formal education who are suffering from an assortment of ailments which severely limit their activity in occupations for which they are suited.

 The present case deals with a 62 year old business executive who has graduated from high school, taken a course in accounting and has studied under a Certified Public Accountant. (Tr. 49, 51, and 52).

 The applicant's first regular employment was as a Clerk with the Pennsylvania Electric Company, where he performed clerical functions in the company's accounting department, eventually becoming an Office Manager. (Tr. 52). Later the claimant was appointed Vice-President and General Manager of the Central Pennsylvania Gas Company, a position he held until 1956. (Tr. 58).

 In 1956 he became an internal auditor of the National U.S. Radiator Corporation in Johnstown. (Tr. 59). In 1964 the Crane Company purchased the National U.S. Radiator Corporation and subsequent thereto plaintiff was re-assigned to the Chicago office, where he worked until July 2, 1965 when he allegedly was forced to relinquish his duties due to his physical condition. (Tr. 60, 61).

 Since that time because of the pain, plaintiff has been unable to return to the executive position with the Crane Company, even though that position remains available to him.

 Plaintiff's alleged disability arises out of an illness called osteitis pubis. This is defined as a sclerosing low grade inflammation about the symphysis pubis (junction at the front of the pelvis). This condition is usually associated with pain localized to the symphysis, low grade fever, and a definite point of tenderness to touch about the symphysis pubis. *fn1"

 Plaintiff described his impairment as a severe pain and internal pressure similar to a hot iron in the pubic area. (Tr. 64). This pain causes him to become extremely tired and his only relief is when he is in a prone position. (Tr. 66). Because of the pain plaintiff is unable to sit in one position for more than three-quarters of an hour.

 In support of his disability allegations, plaintiff had provided written medical reports of Drs. Lawrence F. Casale, George H. Hudson, J. E. Topper, and John J. Silensky. Each doctor has found "an acute tenderness over the symphysis pubis, (Dr. Casale, Tr. 137), a tenderness over the pubic region more marked to the left with a diagnosis of osteitis pubis, (Dr. Hudson, Tr. 146), a slight sclerosis in the margins of the symphysis pubis which may be due to arthrosis (Dr. Topper, Tr. 147), and a tenderness over the symphysis pubis with no swelling or masses present. (Dr. Silensky, Tr. 150).

 The claimant has had x-ray therapy, cortisone injections and has orally taken cortisone and indocin with no results. No medication has provided plaintiff with relief and no recommendations for cure have been forthcoming.

 Generally, the function of the hearing examiner is two-fold. That is, he must determine whether or not there exists a physical or emotional impairment which prevents the applicant from substantial gainful employment for a continuous period which has lasted or can be expected to last for not less than twelve months.

 Generally, when osteitis pubis is present, an x-ray examination will reveal a woolly or moth-eaten appearance, characteristic of bone rarefaction, and will be objective evidence of the disease. No such objective or ...


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