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Decisions in Denial of Benefits Claim and Public Employee's 1983 Suit

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By FindLaw Staff on May 18, 2010 4:27 PM

In McClesky v. Astrue, No. 09-2723, the Seventh Circuit faced a challenge to the district court's affirmance of the Social Security Administration's denial of petitioner's claim,  for what the petitioner claims to be total disability caused by fibromyalgia and thoracic outlet syndrome (compression of blood vessels or nerves in the region between the collarbone and the highest rib).  In reversing the denial of petitioner's claim, the court reversed and remanded the matter in light of the inadequate analysis of credibility by the administrative law judge and her erroneous assumption that a job as a telemarketer would be consistent with claimant's limitations.     

Ogden v. Atterholt, No. 09-2953, concerned a 42 U.S.C. section 1983 suit brought by a former employee with the Indiana Department of Insurance claiming that a memo he wrote was protected speech and his forced resignation violated his rights under the First Amendment. 

In affirming the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendant, the court held that, plaintiff's First Amendment rights were not implicated because plaintiff was speaking as a governmental employee and not a citizen when he wrote the memo under Garcetti because his complaints about the Deputy Commissioner and his request for a departmental reorganization were made in the performance of his professional duties as manager of the Title Insurance Division. 

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