United States District Court, D. Utah
MEMORANDUM DECISION & ORDER
B. PEAD United State/Magistrate Judge
Dorinda Lauer (Plaintiff or Ms. Lauer) seeks judicial review
of the decision of the Acting Commissioner of Social Security
(the Commissioner) denying her claims for disability
insurance benefits (DIB) and supplemental security income
(SSI) payments under Titles II and XVI of the Social Security
Act (Act). See 42 U.S.C. §405(g). Now, after
careful review of the record, the parties' briefs, and
arguments presented at the January 17, 2018 hearing, the
court affirms the Commissioner's decision and denies Ms.
early 2013, Plaintiff filed applications for DIB and SSI,
alleging she became disabled in November 2012 (see ECF
No. 8, Certified Administrative Transcript (Tr.) 40, 205-18).
Ms. Lauer alleged disability due to a number of conditions
including a back injury, arthritis, and chronic pain (Tr.
245). Following an April 2016 hearing, at which Ms. Lauer and
her attorney appeared and testimony was given by both
Plaintiff and a vocational expert (Tr. 57-76), Administrative
Law Judge (ALJ) Jason Crowell denied Plaintiff's
applications in his June 1, 2016 decision (Tr. 37-56).The
ALJ's decision followed the familiar five-step sequential
evaluation process set forth under the regulations and
determined, while limited by her impairments, Plaintiff could
still perform certain unskilled jobs and was not disabled as
defined by the Act (Tr. 42-51). See 20 C.F.R.
§§ 404.1520(a)(4), 416.920(a)(4).
Appeals Council denied Plaintiff's request for review
(Tr. 1-6, 32-36), making the ALJ's decision the
Commissioner's final decision for purposes of judicial
review. See 20 C.F.R. §§ 404.981,
416.1481, 422.210(a). This appeal followed and Plaintiff
filed her petition for review before this court on June 9,
2017 (ECF No. 3).
Lauer stopped working in November 2012 due to exacerbation of
her chronic back pain (Tr. 63, 64, 327). Prior to that time,
she was a supervising manager at PetSmart for 15 years (Tr.
record reflects that Ms. Lauer saw a chiropractor for neck
and back pain in late 2012 and early 2013 (Tr. 332-411).
Plaintiff also saw family practitioner Michael Woolman, M.D.,
for regular health needs, maintenance of her
hypertension/mild diabetes mellitus, and for complaints of
fibromyalgia, back pain, and joint pain (see, e.g.,
Tr. 434, 553-62, 575-604).
record before the ALJ also contained opinions from:
• Dr. Woolman (Tr. 455-58 (May 2012), 539-40 (January
2015), 563 (October 2015), 542-50 (January 2016))
• Physical therapist Ernie Chavez (Tr. 435-44 (February
• Consultative examining physician Joseph Nelson, D.O.
(Tr. 426-33 (June 2013))
• Consultative examining psychologist Richard Grow,
Ed.D. (Tr. ...