Unpublished Disposition, 928 F.2d 408 (9th Cir. 1981)Annotate this Case
Melvin L. FOGLEMAN, Plaintiff-Appellant,v.Louis W. SULLIVAN, Secretary of Health and Human Services,Defendant-Appellee,
United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Submitted Dec. 14, 1990.* Decided March 18, 1991.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California; No. CV-83-0712-EJG, Edward J. Garcia, District Judge, Presiding.
Before SNEED, SCHROEDER and CANBY, Circuit Judges.
This is an appeal from the district court's affirmance of the Secretary of Health and Human Services' denial of Fogleman's claim for disability benefits. Fogleman claims that from June, 1980 to June, 1982, he was completely unable to work because of a mental-emotional disorder that made it difficult for him to deal with people. The Secretary ultimately found, and the district court affirmed, that while Fogleman could not perform his former jobs in auto sales, there were other available jobs that Fogleman could perform. Fogleman claims that the Secretary impermissibly ignored the statements of two of his treating physicians, which suggested that Fogleman was unable to work at all during the period in question. He appeals the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the Secretary.
We must affirm if we conclude that the Secretary adequately dealt with the opinions of Fogleman's treating physicians. See Murray v. Heckler, 722 F.2d 499, 502 (9th Cir. 1983) ("If the ALJ wishes to disregard the opinion of the treating physician, he or she must make findings setting forth specific, legitimate reasons for doing so...."). Fogleman claims that Dr. Johnson's statement in a letter dated July 14, 1981 (referring to an effort to "maximize [Fogleman's] chances of returning to full-time gainful employment"), and Dr. Globus' statement in a form dated February 12, 1981 (speaking of the possibility of Fogleman being able to attend school in the future) evidenced his total disability. The Administrative Law Judge, however, interpreted these statements to mean that Fogleman was unable to go back to his prior work as an automobile salesman or to go into any similarly stressful position, but that he was not totally disabled. The Secretary adopted this interpretation, which finds ample support elsewhere in these doctors' written comments. See, e.g., paragraph two of Globus letter dated February 12, 1981 ("I have again recommended that he change his occupation"); paragraph four of Johnson letter dated July 14, 1981 (speaking of Fogleman's inability to "return to work," in context of describing his inability to deal with customers). Therefore, we find that the Secretary gave due consideration to these opinions, and that the record supports the Secretary's conclusions.