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Nalley v. Apfel
United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa
100 F. Supp. 2d 947 (2000)
Kenneth Nalley (plaintiff) applied for Social Security disability benefits and supplemental security income, alleging that he was disabled due to limitations caused by a severe head injury that he sustained from being beaten with a bat, which left him deaf in one ear and blind in one eye, paralyzed and wheelchair confined, and with a history of seizure disorder. Nalley submitted medical evidence to support his claim’s noted side effects from Nalley’s medication as drowsiness, nausea, and an inability to concentrate. Following a hearing, an administrative-law judge (ALJ) concluded that Nalley was not disabled because although he was unable to perform past relevant work, he had the residual functional capacity (RFC) to perform other jobs that existed in significant numbers in the national economy. The ALJ based his RFC determination on a vocational expert’s response to a hypothetical question, which did not mention all of Nalley’s limitations, including those produced as side effects of his medication and those resultant from partially losing both his sight and hearing. However, when cross-examined regarding the side effects of Nalley’s medication, the expert testified that competitive work would not be possible. The ALJ asked the vocational expert to consider limitations of two impairments, which were not established by the medical evidence but that the ALJ observed during Nalley’s hearing. The ALJ’s decision became the final decision of the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Kenneth Apfel (defendant). Nalley sought judicial review.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Pratt, J.)
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