U.S. First Circuit - The FindLaw 1st Circuit Court of Appeals News and Information Blog

April 2014 Archives

News Flash: Massachusetts Governor is Not the FDA

What seems like good old common sense scored a victory over drug furor last week when a U.S. District Court ruled that Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick does not, in fact, outrank the FDA when it comes to deciding which drugs can be sold in Massachusetts.

What's it About?

This squabble was over Zohydro, an opioid pain reliever approved by the FDA in 2013. It is unique in two ways: First, it is the only form of hydrocodone that does not contain acetaminophen, a drug that can cause liver damage when too much is taken. Acetaminophen ("Tylenol") overdose is one of the most common types of poisonings. Second, Zohydro is the only extended-release form of hydrocodone. This is of importance to people who are in constant, around-the-clock pain.

Tomorrow marks the passing of one-year after the disturbing attack on runners and attendees of the Boston Marathon, allegedly carried out by the Tsarnaev brothers. One year later, and we are closer to trial, yet there may still be delays.

Attempts at finding out exactly what is happening in the case against the only surviving Tsarnaev brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, are difficult at best to confirm because of the secrecy surrounding the trial. One look at the Public Access to Court Electronic Records database shows listing upon listing of sealed motions, with some of the court's orders inaccessible as well.

Waleska Garayalde-Rijos applied to be a firefighter in the Municipality of Carolina in Puerto Rico. She was the only woman to apply, and though she had the highest test score among all the applicants, she was not hired. Carolina hired seven men with lower test scores for the vacant positions.

The EEOC Complaint

Garayalde-Rijos filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). And only after the EEOC concluded that gender discrimination occurred in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Municipality of Carolina hired Garayalde-Rijos for the last vacant position.