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CAMPBELL v. SHALALA

March 17, 1995

JANET CAMPBELL, Plaintiff,
v.
DONNA SHALALA, Secretary of Health and Human Services, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MILTON I. SHADUR

 Janet Campbell ("Campbell") appeals the decision by Department of Health and Human Services ("HHS") Secretary Donna Shalala ("Secretary") denying Campbell's claim for disability insurance benefits under the Social Security Act ("Act"), 42 U.S.C. ยงยง 416(i) and 423. *fn1" As is usual in these cases, Campbell and Secretary have filed cross-motions for summary judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. ("Rule") 56, with Campbell alternatively moving for a remand of Secretary's decision. For the reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and order, both of Campbell's motions are denied and Secretary's motion is granted.

 Facts *fn2"

 Campbell last worked on July 15, 1989 (R.48). At the time of the Hearing she was living in a one-story ranch house with her husband and 28-year-old son (R.38-40). Campbell spends most mornings "putzing" around (R.40). For lunch she sometimes drives to a restaurant with a friend (R.40). Because she does not sleep well, Campbell often naps in the afternoon (R.41). She cooks dinner for her family and spends most evenings at home with her husband (R.41).

 According to the medical evidence, Campbell has arthritis in her back and hands (R.59, 97-103, 106-07, 109-18, 124-36). But Campbell's claims go well beyond that: She asserts that she suffers debilitating pain in her back, hands, shoulders, right arm, hips, knees and toes (R.30-42). As a result of those assorted aches and pains, she says she cannot sit or stand for more than 15 to 20 minutes at a stretch (R. 37-38) or lift over 5 to 10 pounds (R. 31-32, 38) or walk without a cane, and even then she must take 15-minute rests at half-block intervals (R. 36-37). *fn3" Campbell asserts that much of what she can or cannot do on any given day depends on the humidity (R. 33).

 ALJ Horn was plainly troubled by inconsistencies that he found between Campbell's testimony and some of her earlier written responses (R. 44-46, 78):

 
Q [ATTY] Did you lift anything in your housecleaning chores at Furmilab?
 
A Well, we emptied the waste cans and we had a cart that we had all of our cleaning supplies on, and we had a garbage bag on the cart. It depends on what you put -- put in that cart if it's very heavy. If you have heavy paper then it's going to be heavy. But it all depends on what, what you put in it, in the garbage bag, to determine how heavy it is.
 
Q Okay. And what would be the heaviest weight of that garbage bag?
 
A I'm going to have to guess at this. It's probably approximately 25 pounds or 30 maybe.
 
* * *
 
Q [ALJ] You were asked the same question in your vocational report. It said the heaviest was ten pounds, the weight that you most frequently lifted and carried was ten pounds.
 
* * *
 
Q [ALJ] So, how many times in a typical day or not during your shift were you lifting 25 pounds?
 
A When we emptied the garbage can.
 
Q How many garbage cans ...

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