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already, another “feel like zombie” in the federal court

May 2, 2012

Yesterday, April 30, 2012, a decision of US District Court or the Northern District of Illinois, Bias v. Astrue. – No sooner did I just write a blog entry about Gwyneth Paltrow zombie comment and the 52 cases of feeling like a zombie, then sure enough, a 53rd case appeared (a 311th for the total set of zombie federal court cases).

MATTHEW BIAS, Plaintiff, v. MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, Commissioner of Social Security, Defendant.
No. 11-CV-2247
2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60126
April 30, 2012, Decided

This is yet another appeal of denied social security disability benefits with the claim that a medication caused the plaintiff to “feel like a zombie”:

[The plaintiff,] Mr. Bias explained that his doctor prescribed antidepressants and a sleeping pill that caused him to feel like a zombie and did not help with the fatigue

And it is also yet another instance of the Federal Court remanding the case back to Social Security Administration for further judgment:

the ALJ did not explain how she found that Mr. Bias could perform work that “requires a good deal of walking or standing.” Rather, she only generally concluded that “[a] review of [Mr. Bias]’s daily activities does not reflect that [Mr. Bias] had a severely reduced capacity to perform basic work activities.” Nowhere in the decision does the ALJ explain how Mr. Bias’s daily living activities, such as maintaining his single-family home by himself, cooking, cleaning, and hobby gardening, indicate that he can sustain a job that involves frequent walking or standing. Thus, the ALJ does not establish that Mr. Bias could complete the requirements of light work.

We therefore remand back to the ALJ for further inquiry and clarification on how Mr. Bias’s limitations affected his ability to perform light work.

Is there a bias against zombies at the SSA that leads to nearly half of the feel-like-zombie Federal Court opinions to result in remand? These seem to be people who have stopped taking certain medications.

Also, perhaps merely incidentally, the Court notes some introduction facts about this particularly plaintiff, that make Mr. Bias seem somewhat sympathetic:

Matthew Bias was born on July 4, 1951, making him fifty-four years old on his last-insured date, December 31, 2005. Mr. Bias did not receive any education beyond a high school sophomore level, though he received some vocational training in electronics in 1970. Mr. Bias worked for U.S. Steel in Gary, Indiana for thirty years, from October 8, 1969 until he took an early retirement on April 7, 2000. At U.S. Steel, Mr. Bias worked in various positions, including utility man, crane operator, hooker, and burner. As a burner, Mr. Bias used a 50 or 60-pound torch throughout his entire shift to smooth the ends of structural beams for bridges. Later, before his retirement, Mr. Bias operated machines that burned through steel slabs. This work was more difficult than his previous assignment because it required operating four machines running at once.

Note the zombie U.S. Steel

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  1. Fibromyalgia Zombie denied Social Security « zombielaw

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