of both hands. (Def. Ex. C). Dr. Chow concluded Ms. Marciniak could only handle sedentary type of work, but that it was appropriate for her to find work that did not include fine motor skills and excessive, repetitive motion of her wrists. Id.
In early September, 1993, Ms. Marciniak underwent a series of physical tests at the Steps Industrial Rehabilitation Clinic. The Steps Clinic found Ms. Marciniak's performance indicated her physical capacities fell into the "sedentary-light work level." (Def. Ex. L). This determination was made although the therapist evaluating Ms. Marciniak noticed a number of inconsistencies in Ms. Marciniak's performance and questioned whether Ms. Marciniak was performing to her maximum ability. For instance, Ms. Marciniak complained of pain after typing for fourteen seconds, but did not complain of any pain while undergoing other tests requiring similar hand and finger movements for a longer duration of time. After considering Ms. Marciniak's performance at the Steps Clinic and her prior medical evaluations, Dr. Chow opined that Ms. Marciniak could only handle sedentary type work. (Def. Ex. K).
In January, 1994, Dr. David Frank, a vocational expert, testified before the Social Security Administration regarding Ms. Marciniak's employment options. Dr. Frank's testimony indicated that, even if Ms. Marciniak only had use of one arm, there were at least 57,000 unskilled jobs in the Chicago area for which she qualified, including cashier, telephone answerer, information clerk, and receptionist. Dr. Frank also noted there were 29,900 additional jobs, such as ticket takers and garage attendants, for which Ms. Marciniak would qualify. These estimates did not include jobs available to Ms. Marciniak if she could perform light work.
In February, 1994, Ms. Marciniak was evaluated by the Northwest Indiana Hand Therapy Associates. Ms. Marciniak went through tests to determine arm strength, range of motion, sensation and pain, and lift and carry ability. The therapist determined, based on Ms. Marciniak's "excellent range-of-motion and her functional strength," that she had "significant potential to return to some type of productive work." (Def. Ex. F at 12). As before, the therapist testing Ms. Marciniak noticed inconsistencies in her performance. (Def. Ex. F at 11). Although Ms. Marciniak "easily removed" her jacket using normal hand movements, Ms. Marciniak became ultra-sensitive to pain when the therapist touched her hands.
Based on the above evidence, the EBC determined Ms. Marciniak failed to prove there was no employment for which she was qualified. Ms. Marciniak's LTD benefits ended in July, 1994.
Ms. Marciniak argues that the evidence indicates there exists no type of employment for which she is qualified. To this end, Ms. Marciniak has picked out particular quotes from doctors' reports which indicate her prognosis is guarded and that she should not participate in any work that involves repetitive motions of the wrist. Further, Ms. Marciniak argues the reports, taken as a whole, prove she is in constant pain which prohibits any type of employment. Ms. Marciniak's argument runs counter to the analysis of her personal doctor, two other consulting doctors, and two physical therapists, all of whom indicate Ms. Marciniak is capable of performing, at a minimum, sedentary work. While Ms. Marciniak argues she is incapable of doing household chores, she indicates in a Personal Profile Evaluation completed in January, 1994, that she does laundry, vacuuming, dusting, and dishes. (Def. Ex. B at 1).
Even assuming the evidence could be interpreted to indicate Ms. Marciniak is without the use of her surgically repaired right hand, Dr. Frank testified there were at least 57,000 unskilled jobs that required the use of only one hand. Ms. Marciniak argues Dr. Frank was biased. But Dr. Frank was not making a medical evaluation of Ms. Marciniak; he was simply opining as to how many jobs existed in the Chicago area for individuals limited to the use of one hand.
Further, when Ms. Marciniak appealed the EBC's determination of her LTD benefits claim, she stated she "may be capable of some form of work," but complained Travelers had not found her proper employment.
The issue is not whether Ms. Marciniak can or has found an alternative job that she likes, but whether there exists any employment for which Ms. Marciniak is qualified. The evidence indicates such jobs exist.
Taking the evidence in the light most favorable to Ms. Marciniak, the EBC's decision was not arbitrary and capricious. The EBC's "decision should not be disturbed even if another reasonable, but different, interpretation may be made." Krawczyk v. Harnischfeger Corp., 41 F.3d 276, 279 (7th Cir. 1994). The EBC's decision was a reasonable interpretation of the evidence regarding Ms. Marciniak's physical ailments and her ability to find employment. Accordingly, Traveler's motion for summary judgment is granted.
Elaine E. Bucklo
United States District Judge
Dated: January 16, 1998
JUDGMENT IN A CIVIL CASE
IT IS ORDERED AND ADJUDGED that defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted and accordingly, judgment is entered in favor of defendant and against plaintiff.