Opioids Collections

Kentucky Opioid Litigation Documents

Bulk dates: 1991 – 2015

Overview and Background

The records in this collection come from Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Purdue Pharma LP, et al., Case No. 07-CI-01303. In October 2007, Kentucky filed suit against Purdue alleging improper marketing of OxyContin. The suit was settled in late 2015 for $24 million.

Per the terms of the settlement, the Kentucky Attorney General agreed to destroy copies of, or return to Purdue, the 17 million documents produced by Purdue in litigation. Some of the same documents remained under seal at the Pike County Court in Pikeville, Kentucky. STAT, a media company focused on health and medicine, filed a legal motion in 2016 to unseal them due to public interest. Purdue’s appeals were unsuccessful, and the documents were unsealed in 2019.

Purdue is a privately held pharmaceutical company with headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. In 1996, Purdue started manufacturing and marketing the prescription opioid OxyContin, which has generated more than $30 billion in sales revenue. In May 2007, Purdue and several of its executives pled guilty to federal criminal charges for misrepresenting OxyContin’s addiction risk. Kentucky opted out of that settlement.


The 281 documents in this collection were acquired through STAT’s efforts, as well as an open records request by Professor Antoine Lentacker of the University of California, Riverside.

Documents include court motions, filings and depositions of employees as well as internal company documents that have been publicly filed in the court’s docket as exhibits: emails, memos, reports, sales and marketing materials, and articles.

Major issues, people, and companies represented: marketing plans; sales data; Purdue Pharma; Abbott Laboratories; US Department of Health and Human Services; Richard Sackler; Michael Friedman.

Opioid Industry Documents Archive team members have not performed or commissioned any redactions on these documents.

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