Brault v. Soc. Sec. Admin., No. 11-2121 (2d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Brault applied for Disability Insurance Benefits in 2007, claiming that he became disabled in 2006 because of nerve damage in his left arm and a cervical spine injury he sustained in a motor-vehicle accident. After his application was denied initially and on reconsideration, he requested an administrative hearing. Brault’s counsel asserted a Daubert-like objection to the vocational expert’s testimony, contending it was unreliable. The ALJ never directly responded to the objections, but issued a ruling which relied on the VE’s testimony, agreed that positions existed in the eight DOT positions the VE had identified at the numbers the VE had given, and denied Brault’s application for benefits. The district court affirmed the denial. The Second Circuit affirmed, finding that the denial was supported by substantial evidence. The administrative law judge was not required to state expressly his reasons for accepting a vocational expert’s challenged testimony.