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6th Cir. – Unpublished – Vocational Evidence

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  • 6th Cir. – Unpublished – Vocational Evidence

    Here’s a new case out of the Sixth Circuit, unpublished, entitled Mohamed Ahmed Mokbel-Aljahmi v. United Omaha Life Insurance Company. The District Court ruled for the plaintiff on this LTD case and United appealed. The Sixth Circuit affirms for the plaintiff. This is a rather fact intensive opinion, but a couple of points of interest. The court finds an abuse of discretion where the reviewing physician did not consider all available medical evidence suggesting that United cherry picked its file.

    Third, and most importantly, Dr. Lambur did not consider all of the available medical
    evidence. He did not review Dr. Maaz’s April 2015 assessment or notes, Dr. Rahim’s December 2014 assessment, Dr. Salama’s IME report, Aljahmi’s prescription records for 2011 to 2015, Fuller’s report of his personal observations of Aljahmi, or the 2014 surveillance video. A record review that does not include all relevant records is unreliable and “clearly inadequate.” See Calvert, 409 F.3d at 296. The omission of so much relevant information suggests that United impermissibly “‘cherry-picked’ [its] file in hopes of obtaining a favorable report” from Dr. Lambur. Spangler v. Lockheed Martin Energy Sys., Inc., 313 F.3d 356, 362 (6th Cir. 2002) (finding that the omission of one physician’s report from the materials sent to a vocational consultant for review rendered the subsequent benefits determination arbitrary and capricious).
    Secondly, the court found that the vocational review finding that he was capable of sedentary work was incorrect.

    In light of the consistency among the reliable medical opinions, determining whether
    Aljahmi is able to meet the earnings threshold is straightforward. “[S]edentary work will
    generally involve sitting for six hours out of an eight hour work day,” Wages v. Sec’y of Health & Human Servs., 755 F.2d 495, 498 (6th Cir. 1985) (per curiam). At best, Aljahmi is restricted to sitting a maximum of three hours per eight-hour workday, and also must be able to rest frequently without restriction and elevate his legs for several hours each day. He is therefore incapable of even sedentary work. See Wages, 755 F.2d at 497–99; Roddy v. Astrue, 705 F.3d 631, 639 (7th Cir. 2013) (“[O]ne does sedentary work sitting[,] but not lying down, and no employer is likely to hire a person who must stop working and lie down two or three times a day for an hour at a time.”) (citation and quotation marks omitted).
    The opinion is attached below.
    Attached Files
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