Aguiniga v. Colvin, No. 15-3298 (8th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff appealed the denial of her social security disability benefits. As a preliminary matter, the court concluded that neither the doctrine of collateral estoppel nor law of the case applies to plaintiff's claim. On the merits, the court concluded that there was substantial evidence in the record to support the current ALJ's decision where he considered and evaluated her treating physician's opinion (Dr. Kinney). The ALJ did discount some of the physician's opinion about plaintiff's marked limits on performing work at a consistent pace because it found the record did not support such conclusions. The court also concluded that the ALJ thoroughly considered the opinions of other treating sources (Dr. Heims and Dr. Stubblefield). Finally, substantial evidence supports the ALJ's adverse credibility finding where the ALJ discounted plaintiff's subjective complaints of pain. In this case, plaintiff had not sought treatment for some of the complained limitations, the objective medical evidence was inconsistent with several of her allegations, there was a general lack of consistent medical treatment, and she seemed to return to the doctors only when she needed disability forms filled out. Furthermore, plaintiff was noncompliant with suggestions by her own treating physician. Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment.