United States District Court, M.D. Pennsylvania
March 16, 2015
JOANNE MCKEAN, Plaintiff
CAROLYN W. COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant
Joanne McKean, Plaintiff: Jonathan P. Foster, LEAD ATTORNEY,
Carolyn W. Colvin, Commissioner of Social Security
Administration, Defendant: Timothy S Judge, U.S.
Attorney's Office - Social Security Division, Scranton,
C. CONNER, Chief United States District Judge.
NOW, this 16th day of March, 2015, upon consideration of the
report (Doc. 19) of Magistrate Judge Gerald B. Cohn,
recommending the court vacate the decision of the
administrative law judge (" ALJ" ) and remand the
above-captioned matter for further proceedings with respect
to the application for disability benefits of plaintiff
Joanne McKean, wherein Judge Cohn concludes that the
ALJ's decision is not supported by substantial evidence,
see 42 U.S.C. § 405(g) (requiring the ALJ's findings
to be " supported by substantial evidence" ), and
finds that the ALJ's failure to adequately explain his
rejection of certain medical opinions, failure to explain
credibility determinations, and impermissible reliance on a
lay interpretation of medical evidence prevent meaningful
review of the ALJ's decision, and it appearing that
neither plaintiff nor the Commissioner of Social Security
(" Commissioner" ) have objected to the report, and
that the Commissioner has expressly waived the opportunity to
do so, (see Doc. 20), and that there is no clear error on the
face of the record, see Nara v. Frank, 488 F.3d
187, 194 (3d Cir. 2007) (explaining that " failing to
timely object to [a report and recommendation] in a civil
proceeding may result in forfeiture of de novo
review at the district court level" ), it is hereby
1. The report (Doc. 19) of Magistrate Judge Cohn is ADOPTED.
2. The Clerk of Court shall enter judgment in favor of Joanne
McKean and against the Commissioner as set forth in the
3. The Commissioner's decision denying Joanne
McKean's application for disability insurance benefits is
VACATED. This matter is REMANDED to the Commissioner with
instructions to conduct a new administrative hearing, develop
the record fully, and evaluate the evidence appropriately in
accordance with this order and the report (Doc. 19) of
Magistrate Judge Cohn.
4. The Clerk of Court is directed to close this case.
When parties fail to timely object to a
magistrate judge's report and recommendation, the Federal
Magistrates Act does not require a district court to review
the report before accepting it. See Thomas v. Arn,
474 U.S. 140, 149, 106 S.Ct. 466, 88 L.Ed.2d 435 (1985). As a
matter of good practice, however, the Third Circuit
expects courts to " afford some level of review to
dispositive legal issues raised by the report."
Henderson v. Carlson, 812 F.2d 874, 878 (3d Cir.
1987). The advisory committee notes to Rule 72(b) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure indicate that " [w]hen
no timely objection is filed, the court need only satisfy
itself that there is no clear error on the face of the record
in order to accept the recommendation." Fed.R.Civ.P.
72(b), advisory committee notes; see also Henderson, 812 F.2d
at 878-79 (stating that " the failure of a party to
object to a magistrate's legal conclusions may result in
the loss of the right to de novo review in the
district court" ); Tice v. Wilson, 425
F.Supp.2d 676, 680 (W.D. Pa. 2006) (holding that the
court's review is conducted under the " plain
error" standard); Cruz v. Chater, 990 F.Supp.
375, 376-78 (M.D. Pa. 1998) (holding that the court's
review is limited to ascertaining whether there is "
clear error on the face of the record" ); Oldrati v.
Apfel, 33 F.Supp.2d 397, 399 (E.D. Pa. 1998) (holding
that the court will review the report and recommendation for
" clear error" ). The court reviews the Magistrate
Judge's report in according with this Third Circuit