Pierce v. Colvin, No. 13-1525 (7th Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
Pierce claimed that she injured her lower back in 2004 while moving cases of glassware at her waitressing job. She quit her job and sought medical treatment. An MRI showed signs of disc degeneration. She received chiropractic and electric-shock treatments to her back. She also took prescription pain medication. After her back improved, she started a new job at a café. In March 2006 (her alleged onset date for disability), Pierce re-injured her back to the point that she could no longer sit or stand comfortably, and she had to quit her new job. The injury disrupted her sleep, caused numbness in her legs, and prevented her from being able to sit, stand, lift, or bend for long periods. She could not work for more than five hours without pain. An ALJ found that Pierce, then more than 55 years old, was not disabled. The Seventh Circuit remanded for further proceedings, finding the ALJ’s assessment of Pierce’s credibility was flawed in several respects.