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Randecker v. Colvin

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Western Division

December 9, 2014

CAROLYN COLVIN, Acting Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant

For Nicole Randecker, Plaintiff: David Kornfeld, LEAD ATTORNEY, Attorney at Law, Evanston, IL.

For Michael Astrue, Commissioner Of Social Security, Defendant: Monica V Mallory, LEAD ATTORNEY, United States Attorney's Office, Rockford, IL; AUSA-SSA, United States Attorney's Office (NDIL), Chicago, IL.


Iain D. Johnston, United States Magistrate Judge.

Nicole Randecker brings this action under 42 U.S.C. § 405(g), seeking remand of the decision denying her social security disability benefits. For the reasons set forth below, the case is remanded.


Ms. Randecker was 45 years old on the date of the ALJ's decision. R. 54. She last worked in 2005, when she was fired from her job as a registered nurse. R. 65. Her psychiatric illnesses emerged several years earlier when she was first hospitalized for a psychotic episode. The following summary is largely a recounting of the many hospitalizations that followed.

In September 2003, Ms. Randecker was taken to the hospital because she was acting bizarre and aggressive. R. 620-25. She was irritable and could not sleep; she explained that she had a vision when she saw a patient at the nursing home who reminded her of the man who had previously sexually abused her; she had visions of " Indian females being worried about their children being molested"; she said that her mother and grandmother both had mental illnesses; she denied using drugs. R. 620. Because she was so agitated, doctors gave her a shot of Geodon to calm her down. Dr. Terrence Norton preliminarily diagnosed her with acute psychosis. R. 624. He ordered tests to determine if she was using drugs, but stated that he believed that " based on her family history more than likely this is a primary mental illness." Id. He diagnosed her with " Bipolar disorder type I, most recent episode manic." R. 620.

The next acute episode occurred a year later. In November 2004, she was arrested for bizarre, aggressive, and threatening behavior. R. 658. While in jail, " she was shouting obscenities, she was washing her hair in the toilet, was urinating and defecating on herself, refusing to eat meals, destroying her mattress, and believed the police were gassing people." Id. On November 11, 2004, she was involuntarily admitted to the hospital where she stayed until November 23, 2004. Id. She was given Geodon, Lorazepam, Depakote, and Divalproex. R. 669. Psychiatrist Grace Thundiyil diagnosed her on discharge as " Bipolar I Disorder, Manic with Mood Congruent Psychotic Features, Improved, Polysubstance Abuse." Id.

For the remainder of 2004 and throughout 2005, Ms. Randecker was treated on an outpatient basis and was seen by several psychiatrists.

In January 2006, she was arrested and put in restraints because she was agitated and delusional, screaming continuously " Are you Hussain?" R. 644. While in jail, she bruised herself, shouted obscenities, and smeared feces on the walls; she stated that she had a relationship with the FBI and that they would protect her. R. 641, 644. She tested positive for marijuana. R. 641. She eventually calmed down when some of her medications were increased. R. 642. Psychiatrist Howard S. Paul diagnosed her on discharge as " Bipolar I Disorder, Manic, With Psychotic Features, Marijuana Abuse." R. 642.

Two months later, in March 2006, she was hospitalized again because she was psychotic, manic, and aggressive. R. 626. She was hearing voices, and could not sleep because a black horse would come for her if she did. R. 629. She had not taken her medication.

In February 2007, she was arrested for disorderly conduct after threatening to kill a friend. R. 731. She was involuntarily admitted to Singer Medical Health Center. Psychiatrist Farah Pathan diagnosed her on discharge as " Bipolar Disorder, Manic Episode With Psychotic Features, Marijuana Abuse." R. 426.

In July 2009, she was hospitalized because she was making combative, profane, and bizarre statements. R. 524. She was given Geodon and Ativan and put in restraints. Id. After being discharged and then relapsing a few days later and being readmitted, she was discharged a second time on August 4, 2009. R. 546. Psychiatrist Prabhakar Pisipati diagnosed her on discharge with " Bipolar disorder, manic type, schizoaffective disorder. Marijuana dependence."

On December 16, 2009, she was admitted involuntarily to Mercy Medical Center. R. 508. Because she was very angry, she was given Haldol and placed in restraints. R. 561. Her son suspected that she had been abusing substances. R. 559. She was discharged on December 21, 2009 but then re-admitted on December 27, 2009 and finally discharged on January 11, 2010. R. 583. Throughout this stay, she was delusional, was vocalizing bizarre ...

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