Opioids Collections

Ohio Pharmacy Litigation Documents

Dates: 1998-2021

Overview and Background

The Ohio Pharmacy documents consist of trial materials from the cases County of Lake v. Purdue Pharma L.P. et al., docket no. 1:18-op-45032 and County of Trumbull v. Purdue Pharma L.P. et al., docket no. 1:18-op-45079. The defendants in the case are CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Rite Aid and Giant Eagle.

The allegations are that the pharmacy chains, through negligence and deceptive marketing practices, failed to monitor, report or take preventative actions against excessive distribution, dispensing and diversion of opioids. Additional allegations include violations of Ohio and Federal controlled substances laws and causing a public nuisance. Rite Aid settled its claims before trial; Giant Eagle settled shortly after the start of trial. The jury trial ended with a favorable verdict for the Ohio counties, and the three remaining defendants were ordered to pay $650 million in combined settlements.

CVS and Walgreens—the two largest pharmacy chains, with annual revenues of $150 and $118 billion, respectively—have previously settled claims with both the DEA and DOJ regarding their deficient anti-diversion and reporting practices. Since 2008, the companies have paid more than $120 million in combined settlements to these two government agencies. To date, CVS and Walgreens have been ordered to pay over $10 billion in settlements nationwide.

CVS, Walgreens, Walmart and other pharmacies face additional opioid trials throughout the country in cases brought by states, local governments, hospitals and other third parties.


The documents consist of 195 trial exhibits and 31 volumes of trial transcripts. Exhibits include emails (many from pharmacy managers), pharmacy brochures, sales data and audit reports, National Institutes of Health and Center for Disease Control guidelines, correspondence from the Drug Enforcement Agency and scholarly articles. Names frequently appearing in email correspondence are company executives Brad Nelson (Walmart), Adam Zaken (Giant Eagle), Michelle Travassos (CVS) and Cassandra Castros (CVS). The documents show trends in drug distribution, dispensing and deaths in Ohio and illustrate attempts and failures at creating and enforcing policies relating to drug dispensing practices and diversion prevention. Email correspondence from pharmacy managers to corporate executives reveal that concerns were raised about the increase in opioid prescriptions as well as specific doctors and pain clinics who were seen as excessive prescribers.

The Opioid Industry Documents Archive (OIDA) received documents with redactions. OIDA team members reviewed a sample of the documents to verify appropriate redaction of PII and PHI, adding additional redactions when warranted.

Where to Start...

Notable Documents and Related Topics

The DEA and The Controlled Substances Act

Related Resources