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Swenson v. Sullivan
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
876 F.2d 683 (1989)
Herman W. Swenson (plaintiff) was denied Social Security disability benefits based on an administrative-law judge’s (ALJ) finding that significant numbers of routine, low stress, and unskilled jobs existed that Swenson could still perform with his impairments. At the ALJ hearing, a vocational expert testified that, based on an examining physician’s report of Swenson’s impairments, Swenson could perform fewer jobs than someone three years older could perform if that person was deemed disabled according to the grid tables located in the Social Security Administration’s medical-vocational guidelines (the grids). The expert concluded that there were several thousand jobs in Swenson’s state that he could perform given his limitations. The ALJ based his decision on the expert’s testimony without providing reasons for doing so. The ALJ’s decision became the final decision of the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Louis Sullivan (defendant). Swenson’s wife sought judicial review of the denial, posthumously, and a district court granted summary judgment in favor of the secretary. Swenson appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Wright, J.)
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