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January 16, 1990

LOUIS W. SULLIVAN, M.D., Secretary of Health and Human Services, Defendant

Maurice B. Cohill, Chief United States District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: COHILL, JR.


 Plaintiff Ramon Jackman has brought this action pursuant to Section 205(g) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 405(g). He seeks review of the final decision of the defendant Secretary of Health and Human Services denying his claim for disability insurance benefits. Presently before the Court are the parties' cross motions for summary judgment. For the reasons stated below, we will grant plaintiff's motion and deny defendant's motion.


 Mr. Jackman filed a claim for disability insurance benefits and Supplemental Security Income ("SSI") on December 3, 1984, alleging that he had been disabled since August 2, 1982, due to cardiomyopathy, degenerative heart disease, detached retina in the left eye, a thyroid condition, an ulcer, alcohol dependence, depressive reaction, mixed neurotic character disorder and somatization disorder. The Secretary denied his application on initial review.

 Subsequently, the Secretary re-evaluated his claim pursuant to new regulations regarding mental impairments in Section 5 of the Social Security Disability Benefits Reform Act of 1984, Pub.L.No. 98-460, 98 Stat. 1794. The Secretary denied his application initially and on reconsideration. After a de novo hearing held on July 27, 1988, the Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") determined that Mr. Jackman was disabled as of January 7, 1987 primarily due to alcohol dependence and various mental impairments. On January 6, 1987, Donald J. Coleman, M.D., a psychiatrist hired by the Social Security Administration, examined Mr. Jackman. The following day, he recorded the evaluation, and the ALJ chose this date as the onset date for disability. Unfortunately, Mr. Jackman's disability insurance status had expired one week earlier on December 31, 1986, and thus he was not entitled to disability insurance benefits. However, the ALJ's finding entitled him to an SSI award.


 Mr. Jackman, a high school graduate who has completed 3 years of college, is presently 47 years old, married and the father of 7 children. T.28, 29, 34. From 1971 until 1981, Mr. Jackman worked for Goodyear Wholesale Tire Sales as a shipper/receiver. T.29. Mr. Jackman testified that during the entire length of his employment, he had difficulty with his supervisor. T.36. Regarding his supervisor he stated, "I think the man was obnoxious. I think he was -- I would consider him an idiot. He had no regard for people's integrity. He was a liar." Id. In April, 1981, Goodyear fired him because of a dispute he had with his supervisor regarding his demand to be excused for Good Friday religious observances. T.35-36. Mr. Jackman has not worked since this time.

 Mr. Jackman suffers from chronic alcoholism. He has been alcohol dependent for at least 10 years, reportedly consuming between 4 to 6 cans of beer each day since he was eighteen years old. T.222, 274. When he first worked at Goodyear in 1971, he drank between 3 and 4 cans of beer each day. By the late seventies or early eighties, his consumption had increased to 5 cans each day, and in 1983, he started drinking 9 sixteen ounce bottles each day, which is his current consumption level. T.50. Mr. Jackman explained that his drinking substantially increased in 1983 because, "I got depressed, got between (sic) on the work. I started drinking more. That's when I started isolating and it's been gradually growing, growing and growing." Id.

 Mr. Jackman has suffered a number of physical impairments related to his alcohol abuse over the past 7 years, and numerous physicians have repeatedly warned him to quit drinking. On May 23, 1983, Mr. Jackman was admitted to the Eye & Ear hospital with a detached retina to his left eye. T.274. During his stay at the hospital, his doctor discovered that he suffered from cardiomyopathy. Id. Noting that Mr. Jackman was an alcoholic, his doctor opined that his enlarged heart was probably due to his prolonged and excessive drinking. Id.

 In September and October of 1984, Mr. Jackman visited the University of Pittsburgh Falk Clinic ("Falk Clinic") on several occasions complaining of nausea, vomiting, weight loss, abdominal pain and diarrhea. T.226-31. During these visits, his doctor observed that Mr. Jackman suffered from chronic anxiety and alcohol abuse. T.226-31.

 As a result, on October 10, 1984, he was admitted to the Presbyterian-University hospital for a liver biopsy, panendoscopy and barium enema. T.271. He was diagnosed as suffering from alcohol abuse, alcoholic liver disease with sclerosing hyaline necrosis and mild fatty change, and anemia. He was treated with medication and advised to enter an alcohol treatment program. T.272.

 On September 10, 1985, Mr. Jackman suffered an acute asthmatic attack and received treatment from St. John's General hospital. During a follow-up examination at Falk Clinic, he was counseled to decrease or eliminate his use of alcohol. T.217. On September 21, 1985, Mr. Jackman re-entered the hospital with pneumonia, diagnosed as possible Legionnaires Disease. T.283, 311. During a follow-up examination at Falk Clinic on December 3, 1985, Mr. Jackman's doctor, Robert Ruffner, M.D., reported that he had decreased his alcohol intake to 0 to 4 beers each day. T.214.

 During a disability interview guide for mental impairment claims on November 14, 1986, Mr. Jackman stated that he has trouble sleeping at night, and that he spends most of his day "lying on the couch, watching the kids and worrying." T.100. Commenting on his social life, Mr. Jackman remarked that he does not visit relatives or friends and that he does not want friends or relatives visiting him. T.102. He repeated these similar feelings during his disability hearing stating, "I have trouble with everybody. I don't associate with people. I stay away from them. I don't go out of the house. I have trouble with my children. I have trouble with my wife. I want to be by myself." T.43. The interviewer at the disability interview noted that Mr. Jackman had unusual difficulty remembering information needed to complete the disability claim, and that he was confused during the interview. T.107.

 On December 4, 1986, Richard Rosenbloom, M.D., examined Mr. Jackman at the request of the Social Security Administration. T.341. Dr. Rosenbloom reported that Mr. Jackman had been depressed for the previous 5 years, and had a history of alcohol abuse. T.342-43. Noting that Mr. Jackman was consuming 6 to 7 bottles of beer each day, Dr. Rosenbloom's ...

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