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GORDON v. CALIFANO

March 23, 1978

ELIZABETH M. GORDON
v.
JOSEPH A. CALIFANO, JR., United States Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare



The opinion of the court was delivered by: TROUTMAN

 TROUTMAN, J.

 In this action under Sections 205(g) and 1631(c)(3) of the Social Security Act, both parties seek summary judgment.

 Plaintiff contends that the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ), in denying benefits, failed to properly, adequately and sufficiently consider the plaintiff's subjective complaints and symptoms, including pain, limitation of function and distress. She suggests that the ALJ erroneously assumed that plaintiff, because of "anxiety reaction" was prone to exaggerate her symptoms and the significance of her impairments. The record does not support the plaintiff's contentions. Rather, the record shows that the ALJ carefully and in detail considered each of the plaintiff's complaints in detail. In so doing he was properly discharging the duty imposed upon him of evaluating the evidence, including the plaintiff's testimony. For the reasons stated by him, the ALJ found himself "unable to assign full credibility to claimant's testimony". (R. 13) Thus, he did precisely what was not done in the cases relied upon by the plaintiff. Bittel v. Richardson, 441 F.2d 1193 (3rd Cir. 1971); Ber v. Celebrezze, 332 F.2d 293 (2nd Cir. 1964); Santiago v. Richardson, 345 F. Supp. 438 (E.D. Pa. 1972); Candelaria v. Weinberger, 389 F. Supp. 613 (E.D.Pa. 1975). That he recognized his duty to consider all of the evidence, including "subjective symptoms" described by the plaintiff, is evident throughout the record (see, for example, the ALJ's question to the vocational expert at R. 75). Having heard, seen and observed the witnesses testify, he is the best judge of their credibility and of the weight to be attached to their testimony. This is particularly true of the plaintiff who testified at length. (R. 22-64). Therefore, we find plaintiff's motion for summary judgment without merit.

 However, the presentation of the medical evidence gives us greater concern. Plaintiff apparently suffers or has suffered from:

 
1. Chronic obstructive lung disease (R. 160)
 
2. Hiatus hernia (R. 160)
 
3. Urinary tract infection (R. 160)
 
4. Hypokalemia (R. 160)
 
5. Pleuredynia (R. 160)
 
6. Degenerative changes of the spine (R. 160)
 
7. Calcified granuloma (R. 152)
 
8. Possible myocardial ischemia ...

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