District Court Opinions: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

District Court reversal and award of benefits in a chronic fatigue syndrome case finding that the ALJ did not properly analyze the case in light of SSR 99-2p. The ALJ’s personal skepticism about CFS and the substitution of his own medical opinions influenced the analysis of the case. Because the plaintiff produced objective evidence of CFS, the ALJ erred by failing to provide clear and convincing reasons for rejecting her testimony regarding severity . The ALJ also erred in rejecting lay testimony as being “colored by sympathy.” The mere fact that a lay witness is a family member cannot be grounds for rejecting his or her testimony. The hypothetical to the VE was flawed because it did not reflect the plaintiffs impairment of CFS and did not fully address the severity of the plaintiffs limitations.

Wilson v. Apfel, Civil No. 00-300-JE (D.Ore. Sept. 12, 2000)
Arthur Stevens, III., Esq. Medford, OR