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Zuppo-Weber v. Berryhill

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

December 13, 2017

DENISE ZUPPO-WEBER, Plaintiff,
v.
NANCY ANN BERRYHILL, ACTING COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SECURITY, Defendant.

          ORDER

          EDWARD G. SMITH, J.

         AND NOW, this 13th day of December, 2017, after considering the complaint filed by the plaintiff, Denise Zuppo-Weber (“Zuppo”) (Doc. No. 3), the answer to the complaint filed by the defendant, Nancy Ann Berryhill, Acting Commissioner of Social Security (Doc. No. 10), the administrative record (Doc. No. 9), Zuppo's brief and statement of issues in support of her request for review (Doc. No. 15), the defendant's response to the request for review (Doc. No. 16), Zuppo's reply brief (Doc. No. 17), and the report and recommendation filed by United States Magistrate Judge Richard A. Lloret on October 30, 2017 (Doc. No. 20); and Zuppo's objections to the report and recommendation (Doc. No. 21); accordingly, it is hereby ORDERED as follows:

         1. The clerk of court is DIRECTED to remove this case from civil suspense and return it to the court's active docket;

         2. Zuppo's objections to the report and recommendation (Doc. No. 21) are OVERRULED;[1]

         3. The report and recommendation (Doc. No. 20) is APPROVED and ADOPTED;

         4. Zuppo's request for review is DENIED;

         5. The final decision of the Commissioner is AFFIRMED; and

         6. The clerk of court is DIRECTED to mark this matter as CLOSED.

---------

Notes:

[1] The court conducts a de novo review and determination of the portions of the report and recommendation by the magistrate judge to which there are objections. See 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) (“A judge of the court shall make a de novo determination of those portions of the report or specified proposed findings or recommendations to which objection is made.”); see also E.D. Pa. Loc. R. Civ. P. 72.1(IV)(b) (providing requirements for filing objections to magistrate judge's proposed findings, recommendations or report).

Zuppo raises three objections to Judge Lloret's report and recommendation. See Plaintiff's Objs. to the R. & R. of the Magistrate (“Objs.”), Doc. No. 21. The court will consider each objection in turn.

For her first objection, Zuppo contends that substantial evidence does not support the ALJ's step three evaluation. See Id. at 1-3. Zuppo does not raise any arguments here that have not already been appropriately addressed by Judge Lloret's report and recommendation, and the court adopts Judge Lloret's analysis of this issue.

For her second objection, Zuppo contends that substantial evidence does not support the ALJ's treatment of the opinion evidence. See Id. at 3-4. In his decision, the ALJ gave minimal weight to the residual functional capacity questionnaires submitted by Dr. Campa and Dr. Loeffert (both of whom Zuppo contends were treating physicians). See R. & R. at 11-13. Judge Lloret explained that substantial evidence supported the ALJ's decision to give these opinions minimal weight. See Id. Zuppo, however, takes issue with Judge Lloret's explanation. Specifically, she claims that Judge Lloret asserted “that the questionnaires completed by Drs. Campa and Loeffert do not elaborate of [sic] their treating relationship with Zuppo . . . .” Objs. at 3. According to Zuppo, “if the ALJ had ...


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